Movie Music To Sing and Dance Along To

This week I have a fun article for you. I may be dating myself a bit, but so what!

Here are MOVIE MUSIC ideas to MOVE to!

I love to dance. I must admit that I dance around the house when no one is looking and sometimes even when people are looking! My dog usually runs and hides because it often means I’ll pick him up and do the lindy hop with him. Just when I can see he’s getting nauseous, I put him down again.

Where was I? Yes, movie music!

So here’s my list of some great movie soundtracks to sing and dance along with.

1. Saturday Night Fever. Disco Inferno from the 70’s, what fun. How can you not get up and dance to “Stayin’ Alive” or “More Than A Woman”?

2. Footloose. Dance with Kevin Bacon to “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”.

3. American Graffiti. “Party Doll” and “All Summer Long” make me remember how much fun drive-in movies were.

4. Dirty Dancing. Patrick Swayze as a dance instructor? Sign me up! “I’ve Had The Time of My Life” always makes me get up and dance and sing at the top of my lungs.

5. The Big Chill. How can you not love Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and my personal favorite, ARETHA! I’ve often written about how I love to workout as long as Aretha keeps me company!

6. When Harry Met Sally. Harry Connick, Jr. croons his big band numbers which provide a nice dancing cool down period in between all the wild and crazy disco dancing.

7. Grease. No song from the soundtrack gets left out when you want to have fun dancing. You can start by using “Hopelessly Devoted To You” as a warm-up and end with a heart pumping “You’re The One That I Want”.

Do you have any soundtracks that you’d suggest??? Let me know and I’ll pass them along.

And, if anyone out there has the technology to make a copy of these songs on a dance CD and sends it to me, I’ll gladly gift them a copy of one of my products.

shelli

 

Lunges For A Better Looking Butt

One question I get very often from both women and men is, “How can I firm up my backside?” They don’t always ask that question using such polite words, but that’s what they mean.

I’ve met very few people who don’t want a better looking butt!

Most of you are familiar with lunges. You see lots of women doing lunges, whether in gyms or on the street.

Often it’s a good idea, but unfortunately I see a lot of bad execution.

The right way to do lunges is one leg at a time.

Do not alternate between both legs or do walking lunges.

It is hard on the knees, and it doesn’t take advantage of the mind/body connection that focusing on one leg at a time can give you.

Here are some lunge tips for you:

1. Work out the muscles on the first leg with both mental and physical focus.

2. After you do one leg, do the other.

3. Rest one minute. Then do a set of 20 squats using dumbbells or just your body weight.

4. Repeat the lunge exercise, one leg at a time, then the squat. That should be plenty for most of you. You’re done!

That’s two super sets: two sets of one-legged lunges and two sets of squats. That’s it. You can do it in less than 10 minutes.

Not only is this a great exercise for your legs, but your butt will be screaming for mercy. Try this and let me know what you think!

shelli


Food Trends: Watch For These 5 And See What Others You Notice

I thought we’d have some fun and discuss an article I read called Food Trends To Watch.

I’ll tell you about some of them and you can see what you think.

While you don’t all live in the same area of America that I do, and in fact many of you live outside the U.S., I’d be curious to know if you’re seeing any of the trends this article mentions in your own backyard. Give it a read and let me know!

Apparently, last year was the year of bacon! Bacon with anything (chocolate and even gluten-free foods). I don’t live in a very trendy area so I didn’t notice this, but maybe some of you did.

1. The cupcake craze is winding down but PIES are all the rage.

Years ago there was a restaurant in my neighborhood called House Of Pies. Everything was homemade and seasonal. House Of Pies was long ago replaced by a (you guessed it) Starbucks, but much like most folks, I do enjoy fresh homemade pies so I’ll be on the look-out for this upcoming food trend.

2. Have you noticed that menus are full of adjectives and descriptions about how the food is cooked? Meant to impress us, I suppose. Well now we’ll see less of that and more useful plain talk that will let us know about ingredients.

3. Say good-bye to burgers and hello to hot dogs. Seems like hot dogs will get an upgrade and come with all different kinds of toppings.

4. Meatless Mondays and Fish Fridays will be new additions in many restaurants. It’s not just to serve vegetarians, but also to help “healthy-minded” people eat less meat.

5. Apparently there is going to be a yogurt revolution! Yogurt is already a go-to ingredient, but now you’ll see sun dried and freeze dried, smoked and pressed yogurt. I have noticed many new yogurt stores opening up around town. I’m not much of a frozen yogurt girl and frankly, sun dried and smoked yogurt sounds awful. But if I happen to pass a yogurt shop that offers these new trendy yogurts and they’ll give me a sample, I wouldn’t refuse!

Let me know what new food trends you notice and keep an eye out for these.

shelli

3 Ways To Boost Brain Health

More and more studies are confirming that mindfulness practices increase gray matter. These studies measure neurological changes in the brain.

Participating in a mindfulness based practice for 8 weeks for stress reduction will increase gray-matter density in areas of your brain involved in learning and memory, and emotion regulation.

People in these studies report improved psychological well-being, as well as symptom reduction in a number of disorders including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, and chronic pain.

But what can I do with this information?

Glad you asked.

Consider Yoga. Yoga helps calm your mind and relaxes your nervous system.

Tai Chi can not only be a mindfulness practice but studies also show it provides arthritis pain relief. Studies show that practicing Tai Chi two times a week improves fatigue, stiffness and increases a feeling of well-being.

Walking boosts your brain health and increases gray matter.

How much walking? 6-9 miles a week.

So there you have it. Three choices with plenty of evidence to back them up as good options for you if you want to retain your brain tissue and retain your memory well into your later years.

Once again an active and engaged lifestyle is the way to go!

Building Core Strength By Training In The Water

Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool. When days are hot, when days are cold, in the swimming pool. Do you remember that children’s tune?

I can talk about the virtues of swimming all day long because I LOVE to swim.

Many of you who have known me for a few years might remember that I even became lifeguard certified! You might also recall that it was one of the hardest things I ever took on. I also taught water aerobics at a community college and it was a blast.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about YOU and swimming.

Training in the water is a great way to take care of building that essential core strength.

The muscles of your torso stabilize your spine and provide a foundation for all movements. Since water is gentle on your body and it offers natural resistance, it’s a great environment to train in.

Before doing these movements warm up for 5-10 minutes. For this you can walk in the shallow end of the pool. These moves will require water dumbbells and a noodle.

Remember to breathe as you perform these exercises. Perform the movements slowly and make sure you feel the muscles you are targeting actually doing the work. Using the natural resistance of the water, you can make these moves as easy or as hard as you’d like.

1. Abdominal Rolls: Lie face up in the water holding a dumbbell in each hand. Stretch your arms out to your sides and extend your legs. Pull your knees to your chest. As you do this, roll onto your stomach. Now from your lying face down position, pull knees to your chest and roll again. Perform 8-12 reps of this (one rep includes a back and front position).

2. Reverse Crunch: Place one dumbbell under each knee as you lie on your back. Place your noodle under your arms, across your upper back. You are now in the crunch position. Extend your legs and bring them back in. Remember to breathe. Perform 8-12 reps.

3. Deep Water Walking: Hold one dumbbell in each hand, legs directly under your body. Walk your legs under water. Keep walking your legs. Remember, you are in deep water so your legs are not touching the bottom of the pool. Walk slowly or speed up. Start with 30 seconds at a time and work up to one minute.

4. Oblique Side-Lying Flutter Kicks: Holding the dumbbells, lie on one side with good alignment, and flutter kick for a count of 8 to one side. Switch sides and flutter kick for 8 beats on the opposite side. Move back and forth a few times on each side.

So enjoy the water and let me know how you like working with these moves.

shelli

Best Movie Music to Dance To, Guaranteed!

This week I have a fun article for you. I may be dating myself a bit, but so what!

Here are MOVIE MUSIC ideas to MOVE to!

I love to dance. I must admit that I dance around the house when no one is looking and sometimes even when people are looking! My dog usually runs and hides because it often means I’ll pick him up and do the lindy hop with him. Just when I can see he’s getting nauseous, I put him down again.

Where was I? Yes, movie music!

So here’s my list of some great movie soundtracks to sing and dance along with.

1. Saturday Night Fever. Disco Inferno from the 70’s, what fun. How can you not get up and dance to “Stayin’ Alive” or “More Than A Woman”?

2. Footloose. Dance with Kevin Bacon to “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”.

3. American Graffiti. “Party Doll” and “All Summer Long” make me remember how much fun drive-in movies were.

4. Dirty Dancing. Patrick Swayze as a dance instructor? Sign me up! “I’ve Had The Time of My Life” always makes me get up and dance and sing at the top of my lungs.

5. The Big Chill. How can you not love Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and my personal favorite, ARETHA! I’ve often written about how I love to workout as long as Aretha keeps me company!

6. When Harry Met Sally. Harry Connick, Jr. croons his big band numbers which provide a nice dancing cool down period in between all the wild and crazy disco dancing.

7. Grease. No song from the soundtrack gets left out when you want to have fun dancing. You can start by using “Hopelessly Devoted To You” as a warm-up and end with a heart pumping “You’re The One That I Want”.

Do you have any soundtracks that you’d suggest??? Let me know and I’ll pass them along.

And, if anyone out there has the technology to make a copy of these songs on a dance CD and sends it to me, I’ll gladly gift them a copy of one of my products.

shelli

Are You Getting 8 Hours of Energy-Boosting Sleep? If Not, Read This Right Now!

Here are 5 tools for 8 hours of energy-boosting sleep.

If you want the kind of sleep that will boost your energy and slow the aging process down (and who doesn’t right?), you need to build your sleep from the BED up.

1. How’s your mattress?

Have you ever noticed that when you travel and stay at a hotel or stay at a friend’s house, you sleep better on their mattress.

I’m sorry to report that has happened to me quite a bit. Most recently while staying at a friend’s house, I thought his mattress was heavenly. He got it from Costco of all places. Heck, I’ve even slept on air mattresses that were more comfortable than my own mattress. Not a good sign!

If this happens to you, GET a new mattress! There are no right and wrong answers to what will work for you, but if you’re not sleeping well do start by assessing your mattress.

After all, you spend 56 hours a week on it and it should produce the results you need, which is the kind of sleep you rave about!

2. What about your sheets?

Again, I have a confession to make.

I get overly attached to sheets and keep them for way way too long.

I recently got two brand new sets from Macy’s and am really enjoying them. Color is important as well as fabric. I pay more attention to how a sheet feels rather than the thread count because the thread count is a marketing ploy. From what I’ve read you can’t get more than 500 threads into a square inch!

Go with natural fibers because they are more absorbent. Over the course of an evening you can release close to a half gallon of sweat and oils.

3. How old is your blanket and what kind of shape is it in?

I use this blanket called my million dollar blanket. I named it so because  years ago after I had surgery I laid for weeks on a couch wrapped in this blanket and I’ve somehow given it magical healing powers!

If you think of the best sleep of your life you probably don’t recall that it was when you were only hours old. One of the reasons infants are born to sleep is because they’re swaddled in blankets, which gives them the secure sensation of being in utero.

How do you get that as an over tired adult? Crawl under a variety of fabrics filled with a range of insulations and you’ll discover your million dollar blanket! If you’re sweating, you’re not going to sleep well, so keep this is in mind as you test out blankets.

4. Let’s talk pillows!

For sound, comfortable sleep, you need a pillow that will keep your neck aligned with your spine.

I have a pillow that I bought thinking I’d like it. I used it one night and couldn’t adjust, so I put it in the closet to be used for guests. Turned out that every guest I gave it to LOVED it.

Strange, huh?

After hearing raves from multiple guests I decided to give the pillow another try. That was almost three years ago and I still love my pillow.

I travel with my pillow (I know, I’m weird) and quite a few friends, after laying down on my pillow, have gone out and bought their own. Let’s just say I’m VERY picky about pillows. Maybe in my next life I’ll be one of the lucky ones who can sleep anywhere, on anything and with any pillow, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Back to the keeping your spine aligned issue, the more neutral your neck’s position, the wider the nerve passageways running through it will open. The result is that you’ll reduce your risk of neck pain and enjoy a more restful sleep.

5. Thinking of trying a sleep supplement?

I don’t use them, but in researching them for this article it seems that only valerian root results in people feeling refreshed. This root contains two chemicals that have powerful sedative properties.

Be careful with over the counter meds for sleeping. They shorten the time you’re in the deep stages of sleep, leaving you exhausted in the morning and often people feel fuzzy even after they wake up.

So there you have it. Maybe not exactly the 5 tools for energy boosting sleep you thought I’d suggest, but heck, they are all very important and you even got a few personal confessions from me, as well!!

shelli

Two Exercises, 15 Minutes A Week…..That’s IT!

“Sure, I know I should be working out, but I just can’t find the time”.

I hear it all the time.

How about 15 minutes a week, though?

Don’t tell me you can’t find 15 minutes a week!

How about if I only gave you TWO exercises to do?

OK, here we go.

The PLANK is, in my book, a fantastic whole body exercise.

If you’ve taken a Yoga class, or worked one on one with a trainer, or hung out with me for any length of time, you’re familiar with the PLANK.

Here’s how to do it.

Kneel on your hands and knees. Move into the PLANK position by extending your legs backward and reaching forward through the crown of your head, similar to if you were doing push-ups.

Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears, and keep your hips up. Don’t allow your back to cave downward.

Hold yourself up, palms flat on the floor, arms extended, up to 90 seconds.

Remember to breathe.

If you have wrist issues and flat palms don’t work for you, bend your arms so you’re supported from your elbows and forearms. There are many variations on the plank, but start here.

WALL SITTING looks much easier than it is.

The WALL SIT works your legs, and strengthens your abs and back as you press your back into the wall.

Here’s how to do it.

Press your back against a wall. Walk your feet away from the wall and then slide your back down the wall until your knees form ninety-degree angles. Hold up to 90 seconds. Remember to breathe.

Do these two 90 second exercises as a set 5 days a week and you’ll have your 15 minutes!!

Enjoy,

shelli